Posted by: Patricia Salkin | August 24, 2018

IA Appeals Court Upholds Denial of Preliminary Plat Approval

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.

This case arose from the City Council of the City of Des Moines’ denial of Nicholas S. Bussanmas, L.L.C.’s request for review and approval of its preliminary plat to subdivide Bussanmas’s property into three lots for development of single family dwellings. The Council found that the preliminary plat “Winterfell” did not meet the requirements of Des Moines Municipal Code Section 106-3(b). Bussanmas appealed by filing a petition for writ of certiorari in district court challenging the Council’s refusal to approve its application. The district court denied Bussanmas’s petition, and held that sufficient evidence supported the Council’s decision to reject Bussanmas’s preliminary plat.

Upon review of the record, the court noted that while the experts in this case all indicated that there would not be a detriment to other properties by the “Winterfell” plat and that there would be improvement regarding flooding, erosion and preservation of trees, there was evidence brought by neighbors to the adjacent property which was reasonably contrary to this evidence. Specifically, issues of the removal of large mature trees, and the replacement trees that would not be able to fully compensate for the removal of those trees, were within the goals of the City of Des Moines’s comprehensive plan adopted. Since the court agreed with the district court that there was sufficient evidence to support the Council’s decision to reject Bussanmas’s preliminary plat, it affirmed the district court’s order.

Bussanmas, LLC v City Council of City of Des Moines, 2018 WL 3471838 (IA App. 7/18/2018)


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